LAS VEGAS — The New York Islanders had another shot for a road win until they didn’t
William Karlsson and Paul Stastny scored 1:03 apart in the third period, and Marc-Andre Fleury earned his league-leading 20th victory as the Vegas Golden Knights rallied for a 4-2 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
Nate Schmidt had a goal and two assists and Brandon Pirri also scored as Vegas came back from two goals down near the midpoint of the second period. The Golden Knights, who completed a season series sweep of the Islanders, are 6-3-1 in December and hold the top wild card spot in the Western Conference with 42 points.
“The second period we knew they were going to have a push,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “I would say we weren’t as committed as we were in the first, and their commitment level got raised and they got a lot of momentum.”
Fleury, who made 19 saves, got his 924th win to break a tie with Tony Esposito and take sole possession of ninth place on the career list. Fleury now sits 13 victories behind Jacques Plante (937).
Trailing 2-0 after one period, the Golden Knights cut the deficit in half near the midpoint of the second. Pirri, who was called up from Chicago of the AHL on Wednesday, cleaned up a rebound in the crease with backhand over Greiss’ pads at 8:48. In three career games with the Golden Knights, Pirri has four goals.
The Golden Knights had a goal negated when Islanders coach Barry Trotz challenged that Alex Tuch skated offsides prior to New York’s Ryan Pulock sliding into Greiss and the net while bringing the puck with him.
With a 4-on-4 situation in the third, Karlsson skated down the left wing and fired one over the Greiss’ shoulder for his team-leading 14th goal at 6:22 to tie the score at 2-all. Just over a minute later, Reilly Smith fed Stastny, who tethered the open net with his second goal of the season to put Vegas ahead 3-2.
Schmidt’s empty net goal with 15 seconds left provided the final margin.
Barzal got the scoring started when he took the puck off the draw, skated into the slot and fired a wrist shot above Fleury’s glove to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead with 1:30 left in the first period.
Nelson pushed the lead to 2-0 just 1:08 later, when he entered the zone and beat Fleury going top shelf.